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tv   American Revolution 1760 to 1778  CSPAN  September 10, 2017 9:57pm-10:29pm EDT

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feet of water for every inch of land. suddenly, flash floods are boring down every hill. starting landslides, smashing houses, burying people in their sleep. in the morning, every river in central and western virginia is in full flood, the tide, the the canals, winnsboro is under eight feet of water, scottsville, 14. putichmond, governor godwin state civil defense in charge of all rescues and relief operations, backs them up with all the states resources beginning with the national guard. the mountains tell the story. byry ravine scarred landslides, every valley a mass of muck. a dozen handlers
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like davis creek they are almost wiped out. >> it just came down through this area just like an ocean wave more or less. people write in here, they do not have a chance, they took all these houses through here. >> monday night, on the communicators, mark jamieson, a visiting scholar at aei on net neutrality. he is interviewed by david shepherdson. >> take for example, that generation wireless. 5g. it is a technology that will start being bowled out next year and it will be in place for about a decade or so, it has slices. each slice can be customized with ridiculous service or a particular customer or an edge
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provider, whatever it might be. it was designed to do that. that violates the idea of the treatment. that is gross net neutrality. >> was the communicators at 8:00 eastern on c-span two. >>, in the second of a two-part of theo the museum american revolution, scott stephenson leads us on a tour 1776ing the exhibit from through 1778. >> we asked the visitors in the galleries and questions to frame the galleries. the first question is how people become revolutionaries. when they come back to the statue, they should be able to answer the question of how people become revolutionaries.
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is second question we ask how the revolution survives its darkest hour. with all of this lofty language about rights and creating constitutions and remember the ladies is going on, the largest overseas expedition in european history is headed toward new york. is anral beside me eyewitness depiction we have blown up as a mural showing five british warships and about 6000 british and hessian troops about to land on manhattan island on september 15, 1776. at the time, one of the soldiers saw these ships gathering in new york harbor and later said i thought all of london with a loat. -- was af
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it was one thing to declare but to actually achieve american independence was going to be an effort of many more years of struggle. the first thing americans had to do was just survive the onslaught that was coming in the form of the british. we have a really exciting opportunity to look at that transition from resistance to revolution through these objects. these are original revolutionary war flags. on the left, a flag made during the first year of the war. you can recognize immediately the union canton. think of the decade of non-importation when americans are trying to not rely on imported fabrics. for the red, they have used so -- silk damask.
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this is very much a homemade flag. having beenag altered after the declaration of independence. leftan see in the upper corner, a slightly different color of red. hascan see how the original been cut out of it and the white pieces of silk from the union wn to make thel stripes to suggest the alternating stripes of the 13 states. there is the transition to revolution and the search for a new symbol to represent the united states expressed through two original revolutionary era flags. we go three series of galleries
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which take you on a chronological march through the early years of the revolutionary war, exploring as you go different communities of people who are affected or who participate in that fighting. the first is the british army. we bring back another one of our life cast figures here who's representing a young soldier in his 20's, william burke, who was an irish recruit in the british army who served in the new york campaign. he enlisted just shortly before being sent to north america. and then objects and weapons that reflect those forces that participated in the fighting in the campaign of 1776. then we move on. we introduce another character. this is joseph martin. probably one of the most famous american common soldiers of the revolutionary war. he wrote a narrative when he was of his life when he was an old
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man. it was published in 1830's. it's known to many people when it was reprinted as "private yankee doodle." he listed as a young teenager in connecticut. he was one of the new england soldiers on shore when the ships and len boats were anchored off kip bay. they were completely overawed by the show of force and ran. they did not put up much of a resistance and were driven across manhattan. that was really the story of 1776, that campaign that was documented so well in david mcculloch's book. fighting and nearly a dozen actions from long island around manhattan eventually , being driven across new jersey, washington's army is in full retreat by the beginning of december 1776.
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these are some objects that we pulled together from our collection and other lenders that illustrate american forces that were fighting in 1776. this portrait is by relatively unknown at the time artist, very famous today. his name was charles wilson f peale. he apprenticed as a subtle maker but showed promise as a painter and received the patronage of wealthy and influential people in maryland. in the early 1770's, he had painted a virginia colonel named george washington and began to get a reputation as a very good painter. this is a portrait of a philadelphian named benjamin flower, depicted as an officer
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in the continental artillery. he was one of the voluntary militia in philadelphia and marched to washington's assistance as his army was starting to fall apart after the new york campaign. they had been german through new jersey. and by the first week of december, 1776, they're crossing the delaware from trenton into pennsylvania. not washington's crossing you are used to seeing in the painting in the metropolitan museum. but crossing east to west. this was really one of the lowest moments of the revolutionary war. congress is fleeing philadelphia. there's a sense that this revolutionary effort is over and basically the men who signed that document were all going to end up hold off to the tower of london. charles wilson peale is part of the group of philadelphia soldiers who marched up to reinforce washington's army. one of the men that's been with washington through that whole
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summer is his brother, james ale, who was serving with the maryland forces. they fought very hard at the battle of long island in august of 1776. they lost many men. all of their baggage. they were starving, nearly naked and many of them barefoot as they crossed into pennsylvania. on the night of december 8, 1776 a man came up staggering to charles wilson peale. he didn't recognize his own brother, james. that's the scene that we've recreated with this here. it is based on charles wilson peale's own diary he wrote at the time. he wrote a more expanded memoir of it later in life. he actually did a painting he called "the crossing of the delaware." it has not survived but he described it in a series of letters to thomas jefferson in 1818. he noted that for him, this was
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the lowest moment of the revolution. he wanted to do a painting that captured the suffering of the soldiers as they were coming up out of the river. and included the presence of women and children also and wanted to acknowledge their presence as camp followers and the fact that they were along and in the army and sharing the suffering and sacrifice of those who helped to win independence. as you pass the peale brothers that scene is taking place . thomas paine is with the army. he's penning an essay which he published a week later called the "american crisis number one." that is when he writes those immortal words, "these are the times that try men souls." "but he that stands it now will
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deserve the love and thanks of man and woman. that's the scene that he's really seeing in front of him as he's writing that on the head of drum. as we move into the next gallery then, we come from that low moment and really it's by mid-december 1776, things are looking bad. we lift up another one of those communities. in this case, the hessian soldiers, the german soldiers hired to supplement the british army in america by king george iii. another teenager here, just 17 years old when he arrived in new york in 1776. was captured at the battle of trenton, which is the surprise reversal that takes place on christmas night when washington crosses the delaware in a desperate attempt to try to deliver some kind of blow against the british to keep them from marching on in
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capturing philadelphia. we have blown up a period map that shows the location of all of fighting in what becomes known as the 10 crucial days. the first action that crossing of the delaware battle of trenton. you can see washington crossing. washington's army dividing. marching down from the west. attacking these green dots representing the hessians at trenton. and that fighting taking place. in a series of actions over the next 10 days crossing and , recrossing the delaware culminating in the january 3, 1777 battle of princeton. this is when washington who's been attacked by a much larger superior british force, during a little-remembered battle called second battle of trenton in the middle of the night manages to , slip off, leaving the british here, marching cross country and attacking the rear of the british line at princeton.
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this is within sight of what -- where princeton university stands today. that fighting takes place on january 3, 1776. it was in that action that a scottish immigrant named hugh mercer who served with washington during the french and indian war. he was very old friend of him. washington persuaded him to move fredericksburg, virginia, after the war where he set up as a medical doctor. he knew washington very well. in the early revolutionary period, he became involved in the independence movement. he became a british commander. he was a general commanding lead elements of the american force at the battle of princeton. when the british counterattack, he was knocked from his horse. troopstly, the british thought they captured washington and demanded he surrender. mercer defended himself with a
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sword. this is the original sword mercer had in his hand. you see in the background the painting of the depiction of mercer. this is from the british regiment that attacked the americans at princeton. these blades may well have crossed one another as mercer lay on the ground fighting off a circle of british soldiers. he was repeatedly stabbed with bayonets, mortally wounded. he lingered for nine days. he became a martyr for the american cause. when he eventually died, his body was brought here to philadelphia. it was placed on public exhibition so that americans could see these horrible wounds that he suffered and he was buried at christchurch here in philadelphia. fast forward to 1784, charles wilson peale is commissioned by princeton university to do a
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full-length portrait of general washington to hang in nassau hall. which still stands today in princeton. behind you here, this is a reproduction of that painting you can see in the princeton university art gallery. notice here, nassau hall. very recognizable to anyone who has been there before. both charles and james were participants in this battle. they knew well and charles went and sketched the battlefield. he got all the details right. here at general washington's feet, you see the dying general mercer. and then in probably first photo bomb in american history, you'll see charles and james peale painted in the background of the scene. it's a nice way to bring their story full circle here from seeing them in that horrible condition on the banks of the delaware to the victorious moment at the battle of princeton. chronologically, we're now in
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early 1777. this is where our story moves to consider another group of people who had to make a choice about what they would do in the midst of this anglo american civil war going on, the american revolution. that's the native people. here we focus on the expense of the oneida indian nation located , now in north central new york. they were part of that confederacy of six nations that stretched from the mohawk belly to the area around niagara falls. through an immersive media experience, we are in the middle of a group of men and women as they debate, how can they preserve their sovereignty and independence when both the british and the continental congress are now saying you have to make a choice and fight for one side or the other. they reflect on what are the consequences of choosing one side or another or trying to remain neutral.
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nations felt the best choice was to side with the british. they felt that expanding american colonies were much more a threat to their sovereignty than the british would be. for the oneida and tuscarora nations, they felt siding with the continental congress was the best way. the agent confederacy of the six nations was pulled apart in a kind of civil war within their confederacy. it echoed that larger civil war between the colonists and the british. >> we will share with them the fruits of victory. we will bury you in the same grade.
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later, the battles of saratoga take place in upstate new york. we tried to use the saratoga campaign as a way to explore the experience of war for noncombatants. woman marriedman to the commander of the brunswick german troops fighting with the british, often called hessians. technically, these were brunswickers. her memoir based on her trumbull. we think of the 18th century as a glorious era with heroic soldiers with flags flying. view not the same gritty
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of conflict like we have for the american civil war because of the tremendous photographs. an and her diary give us opportunity to explore that experience of war. we explains it through a noncombatant marching with the army. she cared for the wounded. at one point, she was in a basement bombarded by the who thought this was a command post. using objects associated with people she encountered, even archaeological items from one of the prisoner of war camps she war, in later in the because she and the soldiers from general burgoyne's army recaptured and treated as prisoners of war. we tell her story. pistol thatnglish belonged to a major who served
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in the 62nd regiment. he was badly wounded in the battle of freeman's farm which took place during the series of actions around saratoga. she mentionedle, him by name and cared for him. that is an object seemed almost certainly saw at the time, kind of a witness. he did recover and became a prisoner of war along with the baroness through the rest of the conflict. we have also in this gallery a display we call "arms of independence or co- this is a tremendous collection of nearly 50 weapons carried by american forces during the revolutionary war. in the center, this is a painting of the battle of princeton. you can see general washington
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brandishing his sword on the left. in the middle, you see a fallen white horse and a soldier helping general mercer. what is remarkable about this this is, the original, a copy, the original was by james peale. this is a copy done by general who was son, william, apprenticed to the peale brothers to become a painter and executed this copy in the early 1780's that included the depiction of the death of his father. again, a reminder of the real human dimension of the revolutionary war which is often missing from most museum displays about this. is an area when the museum is open and operating. we line visitors up as soldiers.
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the doors open and you are able 4-darch in an experience a immersive experience of being at the battle of brandywine in 1777. we tell the story of the largest land battle in the american revolution which is ultimately an american defeat. it is followed up a week and a half later i british army marching into philadelphia and capturing the revolutionary capital which is the year declaration of independence when philadelphia falls and will be occupied by the british for nine months. on september 26, 1777, marched down chestnut street to what we now know as independence hall and turned the building where the declaration was adopted and signed into a prison for american soldiers. that's the scene that we
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depict in this tableau here. american, wounded american officer being brought into independence hall. we've recreated the interior, very exacting here. we know about this particular scene through the diary of a quaker woman named elizabeth drinker. we depict two quaker women who were part of a delegation who came to see these prisoners being brought in and to offer assistance and caring for the wounded. this allows us to talk about yet another community of people. those were pacifists or desired to be neutral. what is their experience living in occupied city here in this case, philadelphia. while all of this is taking place here in neighborhood we are in, in the museum of the american revolution, washington is marched into a desolate piece of ground called valley forge. 20 miles west of us. this becomes the scene of a six-month winter
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encampment of the continental army. probably the most famous image of the march into valley forge is this painting from the collection of the museum of the american revolution. this is the "march to valley peeping soldiers on the 19th of marching in to this december, 1777, desolate area where they have to build their own log city by cutting down trees building , log huts and getting themselves under cover in the harshest of weather. a case with objects that have been recovered from some of the huts, personal items some of the , axes that were used to build the huts they were , really under supplied with tools and shovels and spades. all part of the gear that they were using. we also recreated the view because of course, most people think of snow when they think of valley forge. but the army did not march out
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until june 19, 1778. they spent six full months in camp. we've tried to show the appearance of the grand parade in the center of the valley forge encampment, all the kinds of people that you would have encountered there. troops in the background under going drill. the former drill instructor who was inspector general. this is an officer who becomes very important reforming its training and tactics and maneuvers. the troops are in camp at valley forge when the news comes that france has finally signed a treaty of alliance with the united states. this really is the end of that question of how the revolution survives its darkest hour. having declared independence in 1776 and then really gone it
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into 1778,gh 1777 finally there is the prospect of foreign assistance. there is a real rise in american confidence they'll be able to achieve their independence. they go into that year with a lot more confidence than they have had up until that point. believe it or not, we are halfway through the story. we've not answered the second of four questions. we've gotten through 1778. we now been through the darkest hour. we then asked the question of how revolutionary was the war. as the storyo look moves on and the war turns to the south in the later years, we start to look at loyalists, neutrals enslaved , african-americans. what is their relationship to this revolutionary movement? we'll look at the fighting that takes place in the west as
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native people toward the end of the revolution begin to deliver a series of devastating blows against the american forces. realizing they are fighting desperately to hold onto land, to their independence. then of course, the revolution is not just a war. the american revolution is a broader transformation of american society. we then finally go to a series of galleries and experiences that ask the question, what kind of nation did the revolutionaries create. take you through the formation of the united states constitution. its ratification, the inauguration of general washington. through the passing of that revolutionary generation. you'll finally be able to look in the eyes of some of these people who witnessed these events who took part in the , american revolution. they lived long enough and saw the age of photography. we have about half the surviving
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photographs of people who were alive during the revolution and our reproduced toward end of the gallery. we take that story all the way to the end and then you're able to actually see the original warhead. the field headquarters of general washington, which is displayed in its own theater and gallery here in the museum of the american revolution. >> the full story of the tent is presented in this theater. but the tent itself wonderful emblem of the challenge of creating the exhibits in our museum. if you were to see this tent, spread out on a table, you probably would not give it a second glance. it's very old canvas. it is weather-stained. it's tattered in places. it's over 240 years old. but we had to make its story being the shelter in which george washington made some most critical decisions of the revolution. he would plunge into despair. he exalted in victory and success.
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we had to make that tent tell that story. the first challenge we had to , show the tent fully assembled. it was truly his command headquarters. we couldn't put it up the way he did because it was put up with tall poles and ropes tied to the fabric to itself. that would literally pull that ancient fabric apart. instead, we challenged engineers to develop a very sophisticated umbrella structure so that the tent appears to be fully assembled and yet there is no tension no , damage done to it at all. that umbrella even had to replicate the slight curve in a taut line because it is not perfectly straight. once we solved all those problems, the next challenge is , how do you tell the story? we turned the filmmakers, historians, our lead vice collections, scott stephenson. they spent almost two years pulling together the
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story line, the imagery, thinking about the music. the generation, the presentation, the light quality to really give , this tent meaning. our goal is to give meaning to george washington's leadership. he was commander-in-chief for eight years. never left his troops. he inspired a sense of loyalty. he instilled a sense of responsibility in the army. that has really become the bedrock of the traditions of american military ever since. without him, the army would likely have dissolved and the war would have been lost. in many ways, it is an emblem for the entire museum. how do you take these small objects, make them come alive and tell the incredible life and death decisions, the horrors, the courage, the excitement of the revolution. it's a turning point in history. that's what we strive to do throughout this museum.


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